1/5 Powell’s TNA Impact Wrestling TV Review: Eddie Edwards defends the TNA Championship, Eli Drake interviews Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy


Logo_TNA_dn_600By Jason Powell

TNA Impact Wrestling on PopTV
Taped earlier tonight in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios

[Q1] Impact opened with a recap video package… Josh Mathews and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero checked in from ringside and hyped that Impact is presented by Anthem Sports & Entertainment. The Anthem logo is now on the middle turnbuckle pads. Dinero said there are new opportunities and new beginnings. He said it’s positive and making TNA great again is part of the plan…

Powell’s POV: Another year, another mission statement to make TNA great again. Of course, there is new ownership, so that’s certainly cause for optimism.

TNA Champion Eddie Edwards came to the ring and wished viewers a happy new year. He said being champion puts a target on his back. He said it’s a new year, a new beginning, and a fresh start. Edwards said he wants to make it the year of Impact Wrestling. Edwards said he brought a little surprise for Wolves Nation.

Lashley’s theme interrupted Edwards. Lashley walked onto the stage and said no one watching wants to hear his crap. Lashley said he is owed a rematch after their fight in Cameron, North Carolina. Lashley asked for his rematch to settle it once and for all.

EC3 made his entrance and spoke about how he wants to win the title he won a year ago to the day. Fans chanted TNA. EC3 said it was a funny sounding EC3 chant. Some fans chanted EC3, others started an Eddie chant. Lashley said he has to fight two cheerleaders. EC3 said he wants his rematch. Edwards offered to face them both in a Triple Threat match. He brought up the special surprise again. HIs music played to end the segment… [C]

A shot aired of Moose and then Mike Bennett walking backstage in separate areas. Mathews hyped Moose vs. Bennett for the TNA Grand Championship, then set up a preview for a Pop TV show… [C]

Powell’s POV: There were enough hints dropped that you have to think Edwards’ surprise is the return of his tag partner Davey Richards. The opening segment was flat and the big main event feels like they are picking up where they left off rather than trying to send a message of change.

[Q2] [C] Maria Kanellis-Bennett delivered the big introduction for Mike Bennett. Mathews noted that Bennett debuted in TNA a year ago. Moose made his entrance…

1. Moose vs. Mike Bennett for the TNA Grand Championship. Mathews explained the round system rules for the grand championship. Moose performed a shoulder tackle and threw a couple of chops. It looked like he went for a spear, but Bennett stayed on his feet. Mathews said it seemed like Bennett caught him with a knee. Bennett led the first round via split decision.

Moose took control and performed a moonsault from the second rope for a two count. Bennett came back and caught Moose with a cutter for a two count of his own. Moose connected with a clothesline and went for a cover, but the time limit for the round expired. They went to break teasing that viewers would find out who won the round when they returned. [C]

[Q3] Moose was named the winner of the second round via split decision. Mathews noted that the third three-minute round would decide the match. Moose hit an early Go To Hell for a two count. Moose missed a leap off the top rope. Bennett performed a piledriver for a two count. The wrestlers traded punches with a minute remaining in the round. After no-selling some moves during a back and forth exchange, both men ended up down on the mat for the last 20 seconds. Moose held up his hands to show he thinks he won. Moose won the third round via split decision…

Moose beat Mike Bennett via split decision to retain the TNA Grand Championship.

Backstage, Swoggle (f/k/a Hornswoggle) spotted Vanguard 1 when Broken Matt Hardy and Brother Nero approached him. Matt asked if he was sent to infiltrate Total Nonstop Deletion by his bastardly father McMahon. Swoggle said he’s not really his son. “Wonderful,” Hardy said before walking away. Swoggle told Vanguard 1 that they are the only normal ones around here… [C]

Powell’s POV: The match got better as it went on, but I’m not a big fan of the kickouts of so many big moves or the late no-selling so early in the show. Both guys tried hard and looked pretty gassed afterward. You have to wonder how much some of the crew actually wrestled during TNA’s down period. I guess they’ll make up for it over the next week. Meanwhile, it’s nice to hear Swoggle speak like an adult rather than be portrayed as a childlike figure.

[Q4] Ring announcer Jeremy Borash was about to introduce a match, but Rockstar Spud came out with a mic in his hand and said 2017 will be his year. He said it’s a new start for him and the company. Spud called for his opponent, who was introduced by Borash…

2. Rockstar Spud vs. Swoggle. Spud mocked Swoggle’s height, then poked him before shoving him down. Spud said he’s a real professional wrestler. Swoggle speared him and then performed a German suplex. Swoggle followed up with a Celtic Cross and got the clean pin…

Swoggle defeated Rockstar Spud in 1:05.

After the match, Spud took the mic and said no repeatedly. The fans responded with yes chans. He told the fans he hates them. He complained about losing to a man who looks like a one year-old boy. He said TNA sucks and then quit. The fans sang the goodbye song to him…

Backstage, Bennett told Moose that what happened was crap and it’s personal. Bennett said screw the judges and the rounds. Bennett challenged Moose to face him one-on-one and anything goes. Moose calmly told him that all he had to do was ask…

Mathews hyped the triple threat main event… Eli Drake held up signs that read, “Me speaking? Yeah. And I do it next.” Drake hit his dummy button…

Powell’s POV: I really hope 2017 is a better year for Spud. As much as the show quality improved last year, he was one of the few deserving talents who did not benefit. Meanwhile, what an introduction for a pay-per-view that no one knows about. Perhaps I missed the broadcast team discussing it, but TNA will have to work hard to sell their live Friday night pay-per-view.

Eli Drake stood in the ring behind his Fact of Life podium. Drake introduced Broken Matt and Brother Nero as his guests. Reby Hardy played the guitar with Maxel on her back. Jeff sang the “Obsolete” song.

[Q5] Drake told them they almost had a hit with Total Nonstop Deletion, but it was missing one thing. Drake said they were missing him, and asked where his invite was. Broken Matt said he invited everyone in time and space and compared him to New Day and the Young Bucks (using his usual name). Drake said he needs a personal invitation.

Jeff told him that Hardy hospitality is good for eternity. Drake told him he might end up in the Hardy Hospital. Drake hit the dummy button repeatedly. Drake said the only thing that will be deleted is their title reign. Broken Matt said they accept his challenge for Friday’s pay-per-view. This led to a Delete/Yeah/Obsolete battle. Drake tried to hit Matt, who blocked it and roughed him up briefly. Mathews said it will be the Hardys vs. Drake and a partner of his choosing on Friday…

Backstage, Edwards spoke about defending his title in the main event. He was about to address his surprise when he was interrupted by Lashley, who said the surprise is that Edwards is still the champ. Lashley told him to give him the title or he would take it from him. Edwards told him to try…

Mathews set up another trailer for the Pop TV show… [C]

Powell’s POV: The Drake and Hardy segment was forgettable at best. It’s too bad because Drake is a good talker and the Hardys act is so over, but this just didn’t click and did nothing to sell me on the pay-per-view.

[Q6] A video recapped Total Nonstop Deletion…

3. Abyss and Crazzy Steve (w/Rosemary) vs. Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett (w/Gregory Shane Helms). Before the match, a pre-tape aired with Helms saying he doesn’t remember anything after being thrown in the lake at the Hardy Compound. He said the Helms Dynasty is all about unity. Lee said there’s no I in unity, and Helms rolled his eyes. Meanwhile, Decay entered to new and not nearly as good as the Marilyn Manson music. In the end, Abyss chokeslammed Everett off the top rope and pinned him…

Decay beat Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett in 3:00.

After the match, the lights went out and there was a 3-2-1 countdown. The DCC struck Decay from behind with beer bottles.

Backstage, Maria told Allie to put her gear on and meet her in the ring because she had something special planned for her…

Powell’s POV: So which team were the babyfaces? I guess it’s Decay given that DCC attacked them from behind. Does that mean Rosemary is a babyface too or just the men from her act? I spent months hoping that Lee would get a chance to speak only for him to be made out to be a dimwit. Meanwhile, DCC continues to suck.

[Q7] Maria delivered a promo in the ring with Laurel Van Ness and Sienna at her side. Maria said nothing about Allie impresses her. She said Allie messed up her lift and cost her the title and being leader of the Knockouts Division. Maria said she’s smarter than Allie and owns her. Maria asked Allie if she wanted a match with Sienna or if she was too scared. Allie took the mic and yelled, “Bring it on”…

4. Allie vs. Sienna (w/Maria, Laurel Van Ness. Madison Rayne sat in on commentary for the women’s match. Braxton Sutter ran out to root for Allie, who was getting the better of Sienna at the time. Van Ness joined Sutter in his corner. Sienna performed a fallaway slam and then stood on Allie, who kicked out. Later, Allie caught Sienna with a kick and then a cross body block from the second rope. Allie slammed Sienna. Van Ness started hanging on Sutter and tried to pull his face into, well, motorboat position. Sienna took advantage of the distracted Allie and hit the Silencer for the win…

Sienna beat Allie in 5:05.

Shots aired of Edwards, EC3, and Lashley while Mathews hyped the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: The idea is that Sutter wants nothing to do with Van Ness, but Allie likes him and is easily manipulated. It worked. The fans were into it when Allie was taking it to Sienna late, and there was near silence once she lost. The fans dig Allie and one can only hope that the new creative regime does right by her.

[Q8] The broadcast team thanked fans who were watching the show in the UK and Ireland on the new app. He said they could also watch the pay-per-view on the app on Friday night. Mathews hyped the Hardys vs. Drake and a partner of his choosing for the tag titles, Rosemary vs. Sienna for the Knockouts Title, Moose vs. Mike Bennett in a no holds barred match, and a four-way X Division Title match…

5. Eddie Edwards vs. Lashley vs. EC3 in a Triple Threat for the TNA Championship. No in-ring introductions for this title match, as Borash delivered the introductions as each man made his entrance. All three men battled at ringside. They returned to the ring. Lashley was cleared and then EC3 and Edwards looked at one another heading into a break. [C] Lashley returned and performed a double German suplex.

[Overrun] Lashley was the aggressor until the babyfaces performed a double suplex. Edwards and EC3 exchanged chops, then knocked Lashley down. Edwards avoided a One Percenter and then worked over EC3 with chops.

They set up a tower of doom spot with Lashley slamming both opponents to the mat. A short time later, EC3 clotheslined Lashley twice and then suplexed him. EC3 set up for his finisher, but Edwards charged and was backdropped. EC3 hit the TK3 on Lashley for a two count.

EC3 caught Edwards in a sleeper. Lashley speared Edwards, which knocked EC3 to the floor. Like a dope, Lashley threw Edwards to the floor. Pope even pointed out that he was “doing himself.” Lashley went to ringside and speared EC3. Edwards performed a suicide dive onto Lashley, then rolled him back inside.

Edwards went up top and leapt over Lashley, who then speared him. Edwards rolled to the floor. Pope felt the need to ask viewers who great the action and main event were. Lashley threw Edwards back inside the ring and grabbed the TNA Title belt. The referee tried to stop him, but Lashley shoved him over. Lashley wound up with the belt. Davey Richards ran out and took the title away. Edwards hit the Boston Knee Party on Lashley and pinned him.

Eddie Edwards defeated Lashley and EC3 in a Triple Threat to retain the TNA Title.

After the match, Edwards and Richards celebrated at ringside to close the show, and a graphic listing TNA Wrestling Production along with the Anthem logo aired…

Powell’s POV: A solid main event that definitely felt like more of the same. And it’s not that what we saw last year was bad, but I was hoping for something fresh to start the new year. It’s nice to see Davey Richards return from a long layoff following knee surgery, but they foreshadowed it to the point that it was obvious. And even that isn’t such a bad thing, but seeing the return of a former tag champion didn’t feel like a major splash. Likewise, they failed to sell me on the pay-per-view. Our own Zack Zimmerman will be in attendance for the show, so we will have the results, but I’m passing on the live coverage. Thanks for watching along with me tonight. I’ll be back on Friday with an All Access audio review, and John Moore will be by with his TNA Impact Wrestling Hit List.


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